Ozzie Newsome for years has been lauded as one of the NFL’s top General Managers and it’s hard to disagree with his track record.
From all the early accounts from training camp Newsome’s latest draft class looks to stocked full of quality players who will help the franchise for the next five to ten seasons.
Michael Oher looks to be the real deal swallowing up blockers on the right side. He has tremendous strength and tenacity and if he can translate that passion into games I think we will see an improvement in the passing game almost immediately. Oher isn’t an All-Pro yet and still needs to refine his pass blocking technique but that comes with experience. He’s erasing any doubts that some teams had about his intelligence pretty quickly.
Second-round pick Paul Kruger has fantastic quickness and should be used as a situational speed rusher this season. He’s currently backing up Terrell Suggs but due to Suggs’ injury he’s been getting plenty of reps with the first team. It will be a great asset to have fresh legs in the fourth quarter to help get to the Quarterback.
Lardarius Webb has been displaying a knack for the football and great speed in the return game. Webb is vying for a shot at the Nickel spot and as a possible return man and you could see him in both positions this season. Greg Mattison has been be quick to praise Webb’s work and this he could be an excellent cornerback in this league.
Jason Phillips has struggled with injuries but this season should be a contributor on Special Teams due to the crowded prospects at the position. He’s another player that shows tireless effort and you could go far with such a mindset.
Davon Drew has also had to shake off early injuries but the times he’s been on the field he’s shown great potential and with the Tight End spot looking a bit thin since L.J. Smith has yet to practice due to a tight hammy Drew should get a shot right away.
Cedric Peerman has shown discipline in his running and could find his way on the team as a third or fourth running back. He’s a great character guy to have on the team should also help on Special Teams.
That’s not even including those that were signed as Free agents like Graham Gano who has impressed in his battle for the Kicking job as well as fullback Jason Cook and linebacker Daniel Ellerbee.
It remains to be seen if all with make the team but it gives the Ravens a great problem to have, actually making decisions of cutting down to the 53. That quality translates into better practices and preparation and will serve them well in the tough battles for the coming year.